Q. I bought a new Triumph a year and a half back, on finance. Four months ago I got wiped out by an old biddie in an Austin Allegro of all things (yes it was in poo brown) who was on the way home from a vintage rally. Luckily no one got hurt but both vehicles were written off. I am fully comprehensive insured but they have valued my bike at less than I owe the finance company and then paid me. The payment was £1,500.00 short of what I owe. I have told my finance company that I am not paying for a bike that I don’t have any more and stopped paying. However, they have now threatened to take me to Court. That can’t be right can it? Why should I pay if it’s not my fault?
A. Firstly, at least no one got hurt and on a positive note there is one less poo brown Austin Allegro on the road! Secondly, your finance company can take you to court and would win if you do not repay them. Whilst it is rubbish that you have to pay off something you no longer have, you signed the agreement to repay them the money that originally bought your bike. A lot of people struggle to get their head around this but it may be easier to think of it in terms of a bank loan i.e. if you borrowed £5,000.00 over 4 years, but failed to make the payments the bank could sue you.
White Dalton Solicitors is Britain’s most specialist motorcycle law practice. Managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike riding barristers compile Motor Cycle Monthly’s legal column. www.whitedalton.co.uk